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Revista Facultad Nacional de Agronomía Medellín

Print version ISSN 0304-2847

Abstract

LARA VASQUEZ, Carlos Esteban; DIEZ GOMEZ, María Claudia  and  MORENO HURTADO, Flavio Humberto. POPULATION STRUCTURE AND DEMOGRAPHY OF THE PALM Wettinia kalbreyeri FROM AN ANDEAN MONTANE FOREST OF COLOMBIA. Rev. Fac. Nac. Agron. Medellín [online]. 2012, vol.65, n.2, pp.6739-6747. ISSN 0304-2847.

Abstract. Wettinia kalbreyeri is a monoecious palm distributed on the Andean highland forests from Colombia and Ecuador with high ecological and economical value. For several decades, its populations have been intensively harvested, which caused a significant decrease of its natural stocks. However, no research has been done yet on the regeneration and dynamics of this important species. In order to get critical information for its management, we characterized the life cycle and surveyed for one year an undisturbed natural forest dominated by this palm in the Western Cordillera of Colombia. We established 10 permanent plots (0.1- ha each) and evaluated the structure and population dynamics with a matrix model structured by sizes. We found a high density of individuals up to 50 cm- height (129.520 ± 72.701 ha-1); the density of adult palms was also high (768 ± 263 ha-1), with an average basal area of 21.34 ± 8.84 m2 ha-1. Population growth was positive during the period evaluated (l = 1.079); results of the elasticity analysis suggest that changes of adult density could severely impact the population dynamics. Because of the high temporal variability of natural populations, a longer monitoring time is important to improve the reliability of estimates.

Keywords : Elasticity; population dynamics; sustainable management; tropical Andes.

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